Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy in Early Breast Cancer
October 01, 2005BySatish Kumar, MBBS, MRCP (UK)|R. C. F. Leonard, BSc, MBBS, MD, FRCP, FRCPEd
For many years, tamoxifen has been the gold standard adjuvanthormonal therapy with the greatest impact in early breast cancer forboth pre- and postmenopausal women. Tamoxifen-based adjuvant endocrinetherapy and chemotherapy have together contributed substantiallyto the reduction in breast cancer mortality that has occurred inrecent years. Over the past few years, the role of aromatase inhibitorshas grown in prominence and they are now on the threshold of supplantingtamoxifen as the new gold standard adjuvant therapy for postmenopausalwomen with estrogen-receptor–positive disease. With extendeduse of oral antihormones such as tamoxifen, the role of ovariansuppression on the other hand has become less clear in the adjuvantsetting. This article reviews the most important data regarding the variousadjuvant hormonal treatments in the management of early breastcancer and will also give a brief overview of the role of these agents inthe neoadjuvant setting.